Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is basically a form of arthritis which involves chronic spine inflammation causing prolonged lower back pain and spinal deformity if left untreated.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

In its initial phase, ankylosing spondylitis symptoms usually comprise stiffness & pain in the hips and lower back area. These symptoms are likely to be experienced after getting up in the morning or remaining physically inactive for an extended time.

As this spinal disorder progresses, the following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Breathing & vision issues
  • Abdominal pain & diarrhoea
  • Losing interest in food consumption
  • Weight loss due to unknown reasons

Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms are more common in individuals aged 17 to 45 than in people of other age groups. The intensity of symptoms also varies in different persons.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Causes

Research has shown that genetics play an important role in ankylosing spondylitis. People with a specific gene named HLA-B27 are at a much higher risk of developing this spinal disorder than those without it. Having said that, just a few people having this gene eventually develop the condition.

Other ankylosing spondylitis causes involve having any of the following conditions which elevate its risk:

  • Psoriasis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease

Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis

When it comes to ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis, there exists no particular test or scan that can conclusively detect this spinal disorder.

Healthcare professionals generally check symptoms, enquire about family medical history and conduct a physical examination. This is typically followed by diagnostic scans or blood tests to assist in reaching an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnostic scans usually include MRI and Spine X-rays to detect arthritis, identify changes in bones & joints, and eliminate the possibility of other spine-related conditions. Blood tests may also be conducted to check whether the patient has the HLA-B27 gene.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

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